Poor Will's Almanack: October 25 - 31, 2011

Oct 25, 2011

Poor Will’s Almanack for the Third Week of Middle Fall.

Wendell Berry wrote about today:

The woods is shining this morning. 
Red, gold and green, the leaves
lie on the ground or fall,
hang full of light in the air still.

In this third week of Middle Fall, the oaks and the osage, white mulberries, magnolias, ginkgoes and the late black and sugar maples move towards full color and many woodlots still shine in the morning, red, gold and green.

Starlings cackle and whistle in the shining trees.  The last cabbage butterflies look for cabbages in the garden.  The last daddy longlegs hunt the flowerbeds.  At night, hardy field crickets fill in for the silent katydids.

As the last fragments of this summer disappear, the land offers promises of the year to come. Hepatica sends out new leaves on the hillsides. Fresh chickweed, which sprouted at the end of the summer, is blossoming.  Catnip grows back beside the thistle, moneywort, wild geranium, leafcup, henbit, and yarrow, all hardy signs of October and November's regrowth, impervious to the falling leaves, forecasting spring.

Next week on Poor Will’s Almanack: notes for the Transition Week to Late Fall. In the meantime, watch one particular tree near your home or work. Watch its gradual transition to November.

Poor Will’s Almanack for 2012, fourteen months and 300 pages of seasonal essays, notes on farming and gardening, weather, phenology, astronomical information, puzzles with cash prizes, and reader stories is now available. More information can be found at poorwillsalmanack.com.